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EH -- Useful Books Series for Literature: Home

This LibGuide primarily is for English majors and breaks out and elaborates on the Books pages in the EH501 LibGuide. It primarily is an annotated bibliography of series books, both circulating and reference. These series are useful starting points for

Page Overview

This page breaks down the sections of a book (anthology or monograph) and examines each part's value.  Both the more commonly used and less used portions of a book are discussed.

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Library Catalog Basic Search

Basic search in the Houston Cole Library catalog. 

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Aspects of the Book

Most commonly-accessed sections of books

  • main body
  • table of contents (forematter)
  • index with page references (aftermatter)

Too-often overlooked sections of books

  • Forward/Introduction/Preface (forematter), which can reveal 
    • scope of book (what is included or excluded, and why)
    • intended audience or context (such as a response to previous scholarship)
    • relevant scholarship on the topic of the book, scholarship which may not be otherwise traceable)
    • in the case of anthologies or essay collections, brief summaries or "abstracts" of each essay in the collection
  • List of additional sources (aftermatter)
    • source materials which you may find useful for your research even if it was not found useful for the book you are consulting

NOTE: "Sources used" means they have a note or reference someplace in the body of the book; they somehow contribute to the content.  "Sources consulted" means that the author looked at them during the research process, but for some reason did not include them in the book.